Arsenal fan transfer theories are already in full swing ahead of the upcoming summer window.
The latest one is rather brilliant and it involves Gunners manager Mikel Arteta, defender William Saliba and Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar who was linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium last summer.
Interestingly, the latter pair came up against each other on Sunday night as the 2020/21 Ligue 1 season concluded.
Saliba would take all the headlines as it was his goal – the first of his senior career – that earned Nice a 3-2 win at the Groupama Stadium and also denied Lyon Champions League football for next season.
Speaking ahead of the Nice clash, Aouar hinted that it could be his final one in Lyon colours.
“This could be (my last match at Lyon), but it could also not be,” he said in a press conference. “I do not ask myself these sorts of questions before an important match like this.
“I have not played as much as I would have liked. I struggled to come back after COVID. A pretty mixed season (for me). I have improved in terms of managing injuries.
“I am happy with my statistics in the few matches that I have done, so a mixed season. I feel good, I am at 100% for this match.”
But in the January window, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano did reveal that the Gunners remain ‘convinced’ Aouar was still the right man to solve their creativity issues.
“Aouar has always been the first target for Arsenal,” Romano said on the Feather on Football podcast. “They love him and they are convinced he would be perfect in their midfield.
“The problem is that Lyon are asking for €60million (£53.3m) they are having an amazing season, they want to be back in the Champions League, so at the moment with the president of Lyon it’s really hard to negotiate in January for this kind of player.”
And Lyon’s failure to qualify for the Champions League means, as per L’Equipe, Aouar will be available for between £22m – £25m this summer.
With that said, some Arsenal fans have ‘spotted’ what Arteta has done in order for technical director Edu to complete the ‘perfect’ summer transfer.
There’s a theory on Arsenal Reddit that Arteta sent Saliba on loan to Nice to score on the final day against Lyon to stop them from playing in the Champions League next season
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And the reason for this was to lower Aouar’s price-tag so that Arsenal can afford to sign him this summer.
thedeadlocker said: “Genius Arteta. He has done it again.”
Echo361 said: “If he’d want to come, Aouar for 30 mil is a no brainer. Didn’t have his best season this year and definitely leaving this summer works in our favor.”
SymphonyARG said: “I still want Aouar in the team, miles ahead of any of our midfielders except Partey.”
cookievanop said: “If we could manage to get Aouar, Buendia and Bissouma in that could potentially transform our midfield.”